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Where is Baby Bear?

Where is Baby Bear?

My son is 11, going on 19. His hair is coiffed, his clothes are color coordinated and we can’t find his oldest stuffed animal.

NOTE: this is consciously a memory that he’ll be embarrassed about until he’s 21, but at 31 and onwards, he’ll find adorable. I don’t even say “adorable” but he’ll say that when he’s 31.

He's gone, but we'll find him. But the alarm code is only at 4 out of 6. He's getting older.

He’s gone, but we’ll find him. But the alarm code is only at 4 out of 6. He’s getting older.

We’ve been in and out of suitcases recently and it’s not surprising that we can’t find Baby Bear, but he’s about as important as passports. Well, maybe more so as at the consulate you can get a new passport. You can’t get a new Baby Bear.

Here’s a shot of Baby Bear when he was a few years younger, “What’s the one thing you can’t forget to pack?

So much is changing–and so much is not. My boys are getting older, I’m revamping a new career, my father is no longer with us, yet the boys still fight so much in the car we debate how much it might cost to get one of those glass dividers in the car like the limousines have. But then Baby Bear is missing.

Terror flashes through my memory as if I can’t find my child. Well, not that same child I wanted to separate from me with the 1-inch-thick glass, but that sweet boy who comes around occasionally. The one who sleeps with that raggedy bear firmly in his grasp as if it were the last beating heart on the planet. His head on his reindeer pillow, Broertje Beer often on the floor or behind his head, but Baby Bear always nearby.

I realize that 11 isn’t 21. But it’s no longer 1 either. I think he got Baby Bear when he was 1, might have even been six months. Through airports, hotels, sleepovers, lost on the wild streets of the Haight Ashbury, but always snuggled in bed. Snug as a bug in a rug.

I’m allowed to get sappy, I still have what I consider to be little kids.

Turns out his younger brother kidnapped Baby Bear and held him for ransom. He thought it was funny. But little brother thinks quite a few things are funny lately that pretty much no one else thinks is funny.

Baby Bear is safe again. He’s in the soft fingers of an 11-year old boy here high in the mountains, surrounded by bears, coyotes and porcupines. Safe, sweet and asleep. Goodnight Baby Bear.


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